My Blog List

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Prince George as a teen

D'Lynn Waldron's digital rendition of what Prince George will look like as a teen. (D'Lynn Waldron)
 
D'Lynn Waldron's digital rendition of what Prince George will look like as a teen.
 
Last week, we were all on the edge of our seats waiting for the first glimpse of the royal baby. But long before Prince George was even born, forensic artists and experts were busy creating portraits of the man he might grow up to be.
D'Lynn Waldron, a portrait artist and photographer from the U.S., has created a digital masterpiece of what the prince might look like at age 15 -- complete with a mop of light brown hair, his dad's mouth and his mom's eyes and nose.

"My age-progressed and age-regressed portraits are digitally painted artwork forensically based on all available source materials, including genetics, lifestyle, medical history, personality, environment and how gravity effects their type of face," Waldron says on her website.
"My portraits do not predict the future, but only show what it might be in certain circumstances."
She's also done portraits for other famous individuals including Paris Hilton, Hillary Clinton, Marilyn Monroe, Shiloh Jolie Pitt and Suri Cruise.
 
Aside from Prince George's future looks, the world has been busy discussing how he will be raised.
It was recently revealed that the royal parents have no interest in hiring a nanny and that Prince George's christening with take place in the fall.
 
No nanny? Good for you Kate and Will for being 'hands on' parents. By golly, you're just like real folks.
 
 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5 Ways to Get in the Mood Again

The loss of interest in sex that comes with low testosterone might linger during and after treatment, especially if you're feeling unsure of yourself. Try working out, losing weight, and de-stressing to get your mojo moving.
Low testosterone or low T leads to a loss of libido. Treating low T directly is one way to get your groove back. You also can try strategies like working out more, losing weight, and eating healthfully to enhance your sexuality during and after treatment.

According to urologist Steven Canfield, MD, associate professor in the department of surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, while you might be tempted to write off your lagging libido as a natural part of aging or over-scheduled, stressed-out days, you don’t have to accept it. Instead of ignoring symptoms of fatigue, lost libido, lost muscle mass, and unusual weight gain – all of which suggest a loss of testosterone; you should get tested for low testosterone and talk to your doctor about the best treatment strategies for dealing with low T.

"If you’re still interested in an active sex life, then talk to your doctor about monitoring testosterone and maybe supplementing it, along with implementing diet and lifestyle changes," said Dr. Canfield, adding that, while there are currently no guidelines for a correct "dose" of exercise or a specific plan, urology and reproductive endocrinology specialists can help guide you.

For most men, male sexuality has at least two components: the physical performance of the penis and the desire for sex, both of which can be separate from the question of whether or not there’s an erection. Low testosterone can affect both, which is important to consider when re-invigorating your sex life. To help increase testosterone levels a doctor may prescribe testosterone supplements, usually in the form of a topical gel you rub on your skin, to help bring testosterone levels back to normal. There are also non-pharmacological approaches that can help raise testosterone and increase your libido.

Work Out :

"We should be recommending about 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week," said Canfield. Exercise has many benefits beyond helping to raise testosterone, "exercise has been shown to increase sexual desire, No medicine has been shown to do that," said Canfield.

You’ll want a mix of cardio and weight-training exercises to get a full-body workout. Exercise helps both libido and testosterone in numerous ways and can improve heart health and aid weight management.

Male sexuality is intimately related to heart health. In fact, difficulty achieving or keeping erections can be an early warning sign of heart disease, with a coronary artery disease event likely to occur two to five years after the onset of ED. "Anything you can do to help your heart will help your erections," pointed out Canfield.

Weight loss can help as well:

 "Losing weight will improve testosterone and libido. Androgen, a hormone essential to normal sexual development in men, increases at a greater rate in men who lose weight," he said. Exercise can help you meet your weight goals and as a bonus, exercising with your sex partner in a way you both enjoy can be very stimulating.

Get Some Sleep :

Your body is a testosterone factory with its greatest production during a night of uninterrupted sleep. Sleeping may not be the initial reason you want to be in bed, but enhancing the quality of your sleep can also enhance those other activities. Keep your sleeping space cool, dark, and inviting for both sex and sleep. Be creative and add little touches with music, candles, and textures that allow you to set a sexy mood but also support sound sleep.

Getting more sleep and exercise can help reduce stress, a factor Canfield said could contribute to lost libido and low T, although it is not well documented as of yet.

Take Ginseng:

Canfield said that between a half a gram and two grams of ginseng a day can help improve your sexual function and desire, without negative side effects (although you should always let your doctors know before you try a new supplement to make sure it won’t interact with other medications you’re taking). "Ginseng is an Asian food supplement that has been studied quite extensively, and research suggests it significantly improves erectile dysfunction," said Canfield.

Eat a Mediterranean Diet:

"In line with weight loss, a diet that’s low in calories and fat, high in protein, and has a reduced amount of carbohydrate can improve testosterone and improve desire," advised Canfield. The Mediterranean-style diet, which features plenty of fish, healthy fats (such as olive oil), whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy, is one such diet. Changing your diet and watching portion sizes can also help with weight management.

Tackle Bad Habits :

Those little indulgences you secretly know are bad for you — smoking cigarettes, drinking a little too much alcohol, or even a post-dinner coffee — can add up to lost desire. Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke; drink moderately, if at all; and give up caffeine after midday to improve your sex life — and your sleep.

The prescription for reclaiming your sex life is a lot like the prescription for overall health. You’ll be looking and feeling better than ever, in bed and out, as you work on these five strategies for improving libido.
 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mother of Drowned Babies Found Dead ... Dangers of Post Partum Depression

Lisa Gibson, the mother of two young children found dead on Coleridge Park Drive, was confirmed as the body police pulled from the Red River Saturday.
                  The identity of Lisa Gibson, the mother of two young children found dead on Coleridge Park Drive, was confirmed as the body police pulled from the Red River Saturday.              

A police diver enters the Assiniboine River Friday from a park across the street from the Gibson home.
An officer enters the  Red River Friday  to retrieve a body  from a park across the street from the Gibson home.                
                
The body that was recovered in the Red River Saturday morning has been confirmed as Lisa Gibson, the 32-year-old woman who fled from her Westwood home on Wednesday, leaving her toddler and infant unresponsive in a bathtub.

Gibson's body was found south of the Alexander Docks. Police had been searching for Gibson around the family’s Westwood home until her body was discovered shortly after 9:30 a.m. Several canoes and kayaks were on the river at the time for a paddling event when Gibson's body was found. Paddlers, many of them teenagers, could be seen hugging and crying as police worked to pull the body from the water.

"An autopsy has been completed, the investigation is ongoing,"said Cst. Eric Hofley, adding few other details to a tragedy that has hung over the city since this week's horrific discovery.
"It’s a most difficult time for everybody involved, of course foremost for the Gibson family, their extended family and friends," said Cst. Hofley. "This type of tragedy will affect people in different ways."

Cst. Hofley said the Gibson family is now requesting privacy. It has been speculated Gibson is responsible for the incident but officers aren’t ruling out any possibilities. Gibson was recently diagnosed with postpartum depression and was the last person who was with the children on Wednesday morning.
"On behalf of the Gibson family, the Winnipeg police service would like to take the time to thank the public and the media for their assistance and support during this difficult time," said Cst. Hofley. "When tragedy of this magnitude happens to someone in our community all of us are deeply affected by it.

Gibson had been missing since Wednesday when her two young children were found in critical condition in their house. The two-year-old girl and three-month-old baby boy died in hospital. Police are not releasing the cause of death at this point despite an autopsy having being conducted. The consensus of public opinion is that the children were drowned by their mother who suffered from post partum depression ( A state of deep depression which affects some women after the birth of their baby...sometimes ascribed to the changes in the levels of their hormones)

Gibson's open Facebook page, which has since been restricted, was full of happy pictures of her two children: curly-haired toddler Anna and infant Nicholas. The page included a family photo that appeared to be taken at a hospital shortly after the birth of Nicholas in April, along with a proud birth announcement.
The last posting was mid-June — a picture of Anna with the caption reading: "Man I love this kid.''

Post Partum Depression...A Very Real Illness

Nicole Gamble, a registered nurse and volunteer facilitator of a post partum depression support group at the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, with her 16-month old son Oliver in their West End home. Lisa Gibson, the mother of two children who were found drowned in a bathroom tub earlier this week, is suspected to suffer from post partum depression.
Nicole Gamble, a registered nurse and volunteer facilitator of a post partum depression support group at the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, with her 16-month old son Oliver in their West End home.

Lisa Gibson, the mother of two children who were found drowned in a bathtub earlier this week, was known to  have suffered from post partum depression.                          
Two young children  were drowned in a bathtub Wednesday and the body of their mother was found in the local river on Saturday . This unspeakable drama deeply affected the founder of Manitoba's first and only support group for mothers suffering from postpartum depression, formed just four months ago.

 Nicole Gamble was watching the horrific news break while sitting on the couch of her Crestview home, with 16-month-old son Oliver on her lap.
"I was gut-wrenched, completely gut-wrenched," said Gamble. "I immediately thought, 'Oh, man, this sounds like postpartum psychosis, which is a complete break with reality. The mothers who are experiencing this don't have any concept of reality. It's an absolute hell. I know this is hard to take, but they can't be held accountable for their actions. My heart just goes out to the whole family.

Gamble is a nurse who recently founded a postpartum depression group that holds bi-monthly meetings at the Mood Disorder Association of Manitoba's offices at the Fort Garry Hotel. Gamble's motivation was straightforward: After giving birth to Oliver, she had difficulty sleeping. She felt detached from her baby boy. She was nervous and anxious. Eventually, she began to get "graphic, horrific visions" of harm coming to her son. That's when Gamble knew she was in trouble.
"Being a nurse, I thought I would be immune to postpartum depression because I knew the warning signs," she said. "But it doesn't matter how prepared you are or how well-educated you are, postpartum depression doesn't discriminate. No one chooses PPD -- it chooses you."

Gamble's journey had just begun, though. It was difficult to get appointments with her family doctor. The waiting lists for therapy were too long for immediate treatment. And there was nothing in the way of a tangible support system locally. "Part of my goal after navigating the system and running into problem after problem... I decided to come up with a support group on my own," Gamble said.

Gamble says the fledgling group is small because of a lack of funding and public awareness. They are now posting information on meeting times and workshops on the MDAM website (www.mooddisordermanitoba.ca).
"They call it suffering in silence for a reason," she said. "It's time we talk about the elephant in the room."

But while the tragedy in Westwood might generate awareness about PPD, Gamble is concerned it might -- at least for some women -- exacerbate the stigma already attached to the illness "as they hold illogical fears they may be the next gruesome case."
"This is just an unfortunate part of the illness and something I personally also feared, even though I knew I would not hurt my child," noted Gamble, who was diagnosed with depression, not the more rare case of psychosis.
"Your judgment and rationale when battling PPD is drastically skewed. This is why it is important to get the correct information out there to the public, so that if they know a mother with children under the age of two years who is struggling, they can help her see that it is OK to get help.
"That she is not alone and that just because she may have PPD, she is not a bad mother."

As many as one-in-five women suffers some form of PPD. Gamble believes that number is "underestimated" because of women who are reluctant to report symptoms.
Gamble said there are must-see websites such as the Postpartum Depression Awareness Project, Postpartum Support International and Katherine Stone's Postpartum Progress blog. ("She's the PPD guru of the blog world," Gamble said.)

What should mothers who might be feeling symptoms of PPD (the extreme form being psychosis) do? Be honest with others and yourself, Gamble said.
"First and foremost they need to be open with their public health nurse, their doctors," she said. "A lot of women are withholding what they're actually feeling, what their symptoms truly are, because they're scared of getting their children taken away. Or because of guilt or shame.
There's so much stress and pressure out there for moms these days to meet those (model) expectations," Gamble said. "When they lack even slightly there's a tremendous amount of guilt and shame that comes with that. It's like a death grip that holds on to you as tight as it can. I was one of the fortunate ones.... but as we can see with recent events, not all women come through this."

See the Birth Scroll Given to William & Kate


New parents Prince William and Kate were handed a special scroll marking the birth of son Prince George when they left the hosiptal.

The gift is almost identical to the one made 31 years ago to celebrate William's birth at the same place – the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, London.

Prince George's scroll

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

The memento was inscribed by hand, using traditional calligraphic styles and presented in an embossed leather case.

Thanking staff, Sir Richard Sykes, chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust which runs the hospital, said in a statement, "It will always be a source of great pride for the Trust and everyone who works here that the baby, like his father, was born in the Lindo Wing at St Mary's and we would like to wish him the very best of luck for the future."

William and Kate have invited well-wishers who would like to give their own gift to make a donation in lieu of that to a local children's charity or to the charity linked with the hospital trust – Imperial College Healthcare Charity.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Skin Mistakes That Make You Look Older



                                       Catherine Zeta-Jones
By: DailyMakeover
We love the idea of aging gracefully, and we've got nothing against laugh lines (we've all earned them!), but who wants to look older than they need to? Instead of investing in a bathroom full of anti-aging creams, head off signs of aging before they start by swearing off these bad skin habits ASAP.

Using the wrong cleanser.
Does your skin have a squeaky-clean feeling after you splash away your face wash? You may be overdrying your complexion by stripping away its natural moisture. Only the oiliest skin types should use foaming cleansers or washes with scrubbing beads. If your skin is dry (and most of us get drier as we age), choose a moisturizing cream cleanser. Combination skin can handle a little bit of lather, but opt for a gentle formula that won't irritate dry patches, such as Atopalm Moisturizing Facial Cleansing Foam .

Making faces.
Yep, Mom was right - your face will stay that way, eventually. If you're constantly squinting or furrowing your brow, your skin will develop permanent lines in those areas. Wear sunglasses to help avoid crow's feet (bonus: they filter UV damage, too) and make an effort to relax your face while you concentrate or apply makeup. Yoga or meditation can help you build awareness of tense facial expressions so you can learn to relax those muscles.

Sleeping on your side or stomach.
Just like making the same facial expression over and over can lead to lines, squashing your face against a pillow night after night can cause what dermatologists call "sleep wrinkles." If you can't retrain your body, try minimizing the damage with a satin pillowcase or a wrinkle-preventing pillow such as the Juverest, which has a design that reduces the contact your face makes with the pillow.

Getting "a little color" in the summer.
Whether your skin turns lobster red or golden brown, any color is a sign of skin that's been damaged by the sun. A summer tan can lead to dark spots that won't fade come fall, and those with darker skin tones are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation because of the higher levels of melanin in their skin. Choose a faux tan instead of a real one; today's advanced formulas are natural-looking, non-orange and some, like Jergens' newly reformulated Natural Glow line, even have less of a telltale tanner smell.

Over exfoliating your skin.
Exfoliation helps skin layers turn over faster, which can make your complexion look younger and more glowing. But too much exfoliation messes with the skin's barrier, causing it to lose moisture and even be more susceptible to redness and acne. It's easy to overdo it when you're using a mechanical exfoliant, such as a scrub or washcloth. Instead, opt for a weekly gentle-strength chemical exfoliant or peel, which loosens dead skin cells using an acid (glycolic, salicylic, lactic) or enzyme. Always moisturize and use sunscreen after exfoliating. And avoid scrubs made with particles such as seeds or crushed shells; these exfoliants have jagged edges that create microscopic tears in the skin.

Neglecting your neck.
Our necks are exposed to the same aging effects as our faces - the skin there is similarly sensitive and sees sunlight almost year-round. When applying your moisturizer and SPF, don't stop at the jawline. Want a more targeted treatment? Amorepacific Line Revolution .

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Uncle Harry Meets Baby Prince George

 

 
I think Harry will be a fun uncle to have.  


Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I'm a very sad woman . I work and take care of my home  and kids . My husband and I had trouble getting pregnant  with the second child  and after months of trying  we went to a fertility clinic . It was a difficult time  and I was not giving my husband  all the attention he needed .
One day he was at my friend's house  and a female acquaintance  of hers was there . This woman was in the middle of her own divorce and she and my husband began a conversation . She told him if he wasn't happy, he should divorce me and be happy for himself  instead of worrying about his wife and kids . My husband filed divorce papers  while I was pregnant  . Now the two of them are together  and he thinks I don't know .
What kind of woman thinks  this is OK to do ? I have two small kids  and love my husband  with all my heart . I know I have things to work on . Where is respect for women out there ?
Broken Heart

Dear Broken Heart,
While I agree  that women shouldn't go after married men (and vice versa), you are blaming  the woman when it is your husband  who strayed . He wanted an excuse  to get out of his responsibilities , and she was simply the match that lit the flame .
Please see a lawyer  immediately so you can protect yourself and your children . Then ask your husband to go with you for counseling  to see thether  you can reconcile . But if he is determined to get out of the marriage, the counseling will help you develop coping  strategies  for the future . Your children need you to be strong and capable.
Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I'm a senior citizen . My companion of 16 years passed away a few years ago . I've had a few dating lunches since then, but nothing serious . Several weeks ago, while looking over hot dishes  at a local health store, I heard a voice  behind me saying , "I can't eat some of the choices  because they are a little too spicy ." I turned around  and said, "I didn't know there were other people with those issues."
He grasped my hand, shook it  and we chatted a bit . When I saw him again at the cash register, he said , "maybe we'll see each other at lunch sometime ." I said, "I hope so, it's been a pleasure ." I wish I had taken more notice  of his features . Thereafter, I looked for him at every store, but then my sister was hospitalized  and I was always running around  too busy to spend  too much time there .
I am so sad  now, because his handshake was of a true gentleman  and it stole my heart . I hope he reads your column and tries again .
A fan

Dear Fan ,
While I am not running  a matchmaking  service, I can see you are distraught by having missed  an opportunity . But also, if you were not interested  enough  to pay more attention  to this gentleman the first time, it is possible  that you are over romanticizing the encounter  in hindsight . So recognizing  that you may be disappointed , I recommend  you spend  a little more time at  the health store, since you know he frequents  the place . If you should see him, you will have to take the initiative  and say hello . He may have assumed your brush-off was intentional . Good luck .
Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I ran into my ex-crush  at an event  last week , and I got go flustered . I had such a big crush on this man  for years . We tried dating some time ago . Well, I should say that I tried to get him to date me, but it never quite happened . In the end we stopped hanging out so things  could cool off . Seeing him the other day brought all that emotion back in a flood . I was kind  and cordial . I definitely didn't do anything weird, but I realize I still cared a lot about him . How do I handle these emotions ? I don't want to go back into that crazy state  of trying to get him to like me again . I do not think that will work .
All Mixed Up

Dear All Mixed Up ,
As challenging as it may be for you, please take a deep breath and step back . Whenever you find  yourself in a situation where you feel overcome by emotion, the smartest thing you can do is to be still . Do not act on that emotion ... Allow it to pass  rather than over take you or control you.
In order for you to stand a chance of having a healthy friendship with this man, you have to choose  to let go  of the emotional grip your bond has over you right now . Otherwise, everytime you run into this man , the same thing  will happen, you will get flustered and over-emotional. As you assess your feeling, consider why  you get so caught  up . Did  he do something  in particular  that is inexplicably attractive  to you ? Can you identify what triggers  your emotional swell ? Is it just nostalgia?
Chances are  some of the intensity is about  what you wish for rather  than what you have . Choose to move  forward  and see what is before your eyes, not what you want to see there .
Maxy

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kates Baby Belly....the Last Taboo of Pregnancy

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
 
Kate emerged in a light Jenny Packham dress in silk crepe de chine, with a gathered empire waist that actually belted above her tummy, making no effort to hide her changed body shape.

Given the microscopic level of scrutiny of this young woman’s body over the past nine months, one could hardly have blamed her if she had held the baby protectively in front of her to shield her body from the cameras, but no. This thoroughly modern royal was apparently determined to lend a helping hand to women everywhere who have just given birth, and shatter one of the last taboos of pregnancy: the post-baby belly.
 

Kate Middleton stood up for new mums everywhere when she walked out of hospital yesterday, completely unembarrassed by her post-partum tummy. 

British motherhood guru, Siobhan Freegard said “In a couple of minutes on the steps of the Lindo Wing, Kate has done more for new moms’ self-esteem than any other role model.
 Sadly too many celebrities often have ultra fast tummy tucks or strap themselves down to emerge in tiny size 6 jeans, leaving everyone else feeling inadequate. Kate shows what a real mum looks like—and natural is beautiful.
 Undoubtedly over the coming weeks the Duchess will work hard to regain her figure, but on her first appearance as a new mum she’s proved herself a healthy role model for real mums around the world.”

Jade Beall, a photographer and mother who “celebrates the stories and the unphotoshopped bodies of women especially the bodies of mothers,” says: “This is a historic moment for women around the world. Kate has chosen to confidently show what our bodies can look like after undergoing one of the most life-changing feats a human can experience.”

 Women are often surprised to learn that looking very pregnant is not only normal for the first few hours or days after giving birth but for weeks or more. Women have 40-50% more blood volume during pregnancy; all that excess fluid doesn't go down overnight. But it's mostly other things. The uterus-the largest muscle in your body when you're pregnant-must now "involute" or shrink back down to a fraction of the size it was during pregnancy. That starts very quickly. The hormones released during breastfeeding help speed the process, but in all it can take about a month or so. (This tightening of the uterus muscle, by the way, has nothing to do with working out or dieting.) Also, the intestines, bladder, stomach and other organs have to re-inhabit the newly vacated space. Muscles need to drift back into non-pregnant positions and skin tightens.

Seeing Kate's big belly is an important reminder that the process of making and giving birth to a baby does not end at birth. The slow shifting, shrinking and drifting of various tissues and parts is appropriately gentle and very well-designed. Of course it takes time! 

However, Justine Roberts of the British parenting website Mumsnet, disagreed with that view, “Was it a brave decision? Where the heck do you hide it anyway—under a bush? It‘s completely natural to have a baby belly the day after giving birth and it’s a great shame that the world is so obsessed with women’s body shape that Kate’s belly is deemed worth commenting on.”

Great Decorating Ideas for Small Bathrooms



The size of this room called attention to an eyesore: an off-center, aluminum-framed window. A floor-to-ceiling Shoji screen took care of that by concealing the flaw, while letting light through. A 7-foot framed mirror, hung horizontally, spans the entire length of the room and reflects the ladder towel rack, which adds storage without taking up floor space.
 
 
This bathroom was constrained by bedrooms on either side, so it wasn't possible to increase square footage. To make the space feel roomier, white marble tile and several mirrored surfaces wrap the room. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets add height, while a glass shower wall eliminates the visual barrier of a shower curtain or doors. Rich wood tones add warmth and create balance.
 
 
This guest bath features a custom miniature sideboard topped with a rich red travertine counter and copper vessel sink. Rich shower draperies and handmade tiles add to the charm of this space, showing that patterns used selectively as accents will not overwhelm a small room.
 
 
It's not uncommon to create attention-commanding focal points in compact spaces. This powder room vanity is crafted with smooth, flaxen veneer and is topped with a cast bronze basin and patina counter. Recessed lighting around the large mirror illuminates any reflection.
 
 
This vanity continues the lesson of creating a bold focal point in a small space. The upper walls of this ultra-feminine retreat are upholstered in padded silk, but the stainless steel backsplash adds a rugged accent.
 
 
This teeny, tiny full bath features a wall-hung toilet; the tank is hidden inside the 2x6 stud wall, allowing for 9 inches of extra space in the center of the room. Clear glass shower doors eliminate visual barriers and a skylight floods the space with natural light. 

 A curved glass countertop provides a sense of spaciousness, while hand-applied 1-inch Bizazza glass tiles mimic the swooping curves of the fixtures. The high ceiling features a deep amethyst color wash to visually lower the height of the room, which felt "like a tunnel" to the homeowners.

 
 A freestanding vanity with elongated fixtures, a custom bamboo mirror, and ladder towel rack create the illusion of vertical space in this small guest bath. A soft color palette, accented with dark woods, balances the space. Artistic relief panels add visual interest without completely walling off light.
 

 
This bath balances form with function using classic fixtures. The leggy claw-foot tub, console sink, planters and stools are all raised off the ground, emphasizing the subway tile shining up from the floor. Also, the detail on the tub's feet resembles the swooping profile of cast plaster. The bright white built-ins and wainscoting shine beneath a skylight, showing the room's lightness and simplicity.

Will and Kate's Little Prince...First peek



 


 

 


 




History repeats

Monday, July 22, 2013

Prince of Cambridge Arrives

 
 
Royal aide Ed Perkins leaves St Mary's with the official announcement that the Cambridges' son has been born
Royal aide Ed Perkins leaves St Mary's with the official announcement that the Cambridges' son has been born
Ed Perkins carries envelope containing details of the Royal baby
 
 
He hands over the announcement to a waiting chauffeur to be ferried across central London to Buckingham Palace to be displayed 
Mr Perkins rushes down the steps of the hospital to the street where, right, he hands it to a chauffeur to be ferried across central London to the Palace
A Jaguar car is driven into the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace bringing the news to announce the birth
A Jaguar is driven into the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace bringing the news to announce the birth
After the message's delivery, the Queen's senior Page Philip Rhodes, right, is given the official notification in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace
After the message's delivery, the Queen's senior Page Philip Rhodes, right, is given the official notification in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace
A day for celebrations: Royal fans mob the gates of the Palace, trying to get the best photographs as the announcement is put in place
A day for celebrations: Royal fans mob the gates of the Palace, trying to get the best photographs as the announcement is put in place
 
 
The big day has arrived: An easel stands in the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London to announce the birth of a baby boy, at 4.24pm to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital
The big day has arrived: An easel stands in the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London to announce the birth of a baby boy, at 4.24pm to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital

Britain rejoices: Monarchists clamour for a better view as the news is revealed outside the Queen's home
 
 
A police officer tries to control a crowd of people trying to get to the railing to take pictures of the notice proclaiming the birth of the Royal baby
A police officer tries to control a crowd of people trying to get to the railing to take pictures of the notice proclaiming the birth of the Royal baby

Ram: People straining to look at a notice formally announcing the birth of a son to Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Ram: People straining to look at a notice formally announcing the birth of a son to Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
 
 
Resplendent:The baby boy was born at 4.24pm and weighed in at 8lbs 6oz
 
 
Blue for a boy: The fountains at Trafalgar Square are seen lit blue to signify the birth of a baby boy, part of a plan previously announced by Westminster council. If it was a girl the fountains would have shone pink
Blue for a boy: The fountains at Trafalgar Square are seen lit blue to signify the birth of a baby boy, part of a plan previously announced by Westminster council. If it was a girl the fountains would have shone pink
It's a boy: The news beamed in lights from the BT Tower
It's a boy: The news beamed in lights from the BT Tower
In lights: The news was broadcast in a special animation which shone from the BT Tower in Fitzrovia, central London
 
An overjoyed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the proud parents of a ‘beautiful’ baby boy, as Britain celebrates the birth of a future king.
The couple’s son was delivered at 4.24pm yesterday in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington weighing a bouncing 8lbs 6oz and with his proud father looking on.
The as yet unnamed baby will be given the title His Royal Highness and be known as Prince (Name) of Cambridge, after a decree by the Queen earlier this year.
The new prince is third in the line of succession, displacing Prince Harry to fourth and the Duke of York to fifth, although he may not become sovereign for half a century or more.
Recent legislation allowing female heirs to automatically accede to the throne if they are first born will clearly not affect the Cambridge’s son, but will have a bearing on any of his children.

 

Royal Baby Any Minute

 

This morning, everything’s about labour—not your labour or my labour, nor any workers’ labour, mind you. This morning, Kate, the duchess of Cambridge, is in labour. In the quiet of early morning, she was admitted to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital, a building surrounded by so many reporters and cameras that you really hope all that extra weight doesn’t start opening up sinkholes. That’s how sinkholes work, right?

No matter. The Duchess of Cambridge is in labour, and now the entire world will forget anything else is happening until the baby is born, named and officially in line for the British throne. Baby baby baby. If that’s your thing, you’d better stay tuned for lots of coverage. We’re so ready for this.

Of course there are a lot of people who don’t care, and are preoccupied with other important things. Phooey! on them. A royal baby is an event, a festival, a reason for a nice cocktail. Let's enjoy the moment.

Five Ways Fruit and Vegetables Can Save Your Life

Eat berries for your health
 
Your parents were right, you should eat more fruits and veggies daily. What they may not have known, however, is just how far their benefits extend. With the ability to influence your arteries, mental health, blood sugar and of course, your healthy glow, there’s a great argument for leaving some extra room on your plate for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Read on for even more impressive ways a daily dose of fruits and vegetables can boost your health and prevent premature death:
 
1. Drop cholesterol levels by 23 percent
 We’ve all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and in this case, it also steers you clear of coronary artery disease. In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, consumption of one apple a day for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL — low-density lipoprotein, the “bad” cholesterol.
Similar research from Florida State University found that daily apple consumption dropped LDL levels by 23 percent over six months along with C-reactive protein levels in women. Not to mention, the women lost an average of 3.3 pounds despite the extra calories.
Bottom line: Choose organic apples whenever possible and add them to salads, smoothies or even warmed and topped with cinnamon, stevia and chopped almonds.

2. Eat four to seven servings for a better mood
Researchers from the University of Warwick looked at the eating habits of 80,000 people in Britain and discovered that mental well-being rises with the number of fruits and veggies consumed, peaking at seven portions a day.
A similar study from the University of Otago came to the same conclusion – on days when the participants ate more fruits and veggies, they reported feeling happier, calmer and more energetic.
Bottom line: There’s one caveat I should add. Eating fruit alone will spike blood sugar levels, so opt to include veggies at each major meal and low glycemic fruit (such as berries, apples, oranges or pears) 1-2 times a day, particularly in your protein smoothies. Not only will you be happier, you’ll also be slimmer.

3. Reduce your risk of stroke by 55 percent
Regardless of how you pronounce them, tomatoes can reduce your risk of stroke according to recent research. Lycopene, the antioxidant compound that gives tomatoes their colour, is the primary health-promoting ingredients.
A 12-year study of more than 1,000 men between the ages of 46 and 65 found that people with the highest levels of lycopene in their blood were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest amounts of lycopene.
In cooked tomatoes, the nutrient has also been shown to slow the growth of and even destroy prostate cancer cells. In laboratory studies lycopene intercepted the cancer’s ability to make the connections it needs to attach to a healthy blood supply.
Bottom line:  Add chopped tomatoes to a salad, baked as a side dish or even cooked in an omelette for breakfast.

4. Choose greens to tighten your belt by 14 percent
Greens can do wonders for your blood sugar. Whether it’s the high antioxidant content, the fibre that fills your tummy, or the fact that a meal with veggies is healthier in general, research from the University of Leicester reveals eating one and a half extra servings of green leafy vegetables a day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent!
The benefits even start in the womb. Expecting mothers who eat vegetables daily appear to have children who are less likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
Bottom line: Remember, the more stable your blood sugar, the easier it will be to shed the pounds.

5. Improve your skin in six weeks
According to research published in the online journal PLoS ONE, even one extra portion of fruit and veggies a day will give you a healthier and rosier glow in six weeks. Scottish researchers suggest that this is a result of two naturally occurring food pigments: beta-carotene, the pigment that makes carrots orange, and lycopene, again that give tomatoes their vibrant hue.
The study found that two or more servings of fruits and veggies a day saw improved benefits in skin colour thanks to the antioxidants found within them. The positive physical response not only made participants more attractive to those surveyed, they also encouraged participants to ensure they were getting their daily requirements of fruits and veggies!
Along with the physical benefits researchers also associated the antioxidant compounds, “precipitate damage to cellular proteins, lipids and DNA and consequently may contribute to a variety of age-related degenerative processes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related complications, and possibly some cancers.”

You are leaving the house now to go buy more fruit and veggies...Am I right?

Enjoy a Luxury Hotel Without Staying There

hotel
 
Hotels are offering a new kind of luxury staycation.   These days, many luxury hotels offer special memberships  to the public, giving them free reign of amenities like the pool, spa or gym without ever booking a room. Too bad the memberships don't come cheap. Memberships at Rosewood Sand Hill Resort in Menlo, Calif run patrons $1,000 per month, reports Andrea Peterson of the Wall Street Journal.

Most hotels dub these temporary guests "lifestyle members," and they've been on the rise since the recession as hotels fought to cope with lower occupancy rates.  They typically market the service to locals who might be  willing to pay for the amenities, but don't need sleeping accommodations.
If you're not willing to commit to a year-long membership, some hotels offer day passes, like the Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group, which offers locals or tourists the option to rent out poolside cabanas ($50 + $43/person) and enjoy a 3-course meal.  And more luxury hotel chains are starting to catch on.

We found that the Trump Chicago has an "exclusive membership" option. While not a beach-side resort, members still get access to the health club and spa, which overlooks Lake Michigan. The members also receive complimentary workout clothes, headphones, and a locker.

The Hotel Casa del Mar has an ocean-side location in Santa Monica, Calif. They offer their members year-round privileges to the pool and fitness center, as well as preferred seating in the restaurant.
They also give members a series of one-time benefits, like one overnight stay, breakfast in bed, a variety of spa sessions, and a personal trainer or yoga session.

If you want to take advantage of day passes to luxe resorts, ask ahead of time for information on special memberships.  Why shouldn't you live the good life?

Salty Sweet Pineapple Caramel Upside Down Cake

 

 
A salty sweet treat . A cake for all occaisions. I think you'll like it
Total Time: 1 hr 35 min
Prep Time: 25 min

Oven Temp: 350

Ingredients

U.S.
MetricConversion chart

  • 1 cup(s) dark-brown sugar
  • 2 stick(s) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoon(s) dark rum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup(s) whole milk
  • 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into rings; 1 ring cut into chunks


Directions
  1. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat brown sugar and 1 stick butter, whisking occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook until caramel thickens and turns a deep brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in rum and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour caramel into prepared cake pan and swirl around to coat. Set aside and let cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, remaining salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, beat together granulated sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in half the dry-ingredient mixture and 1/4 cup milk. Repeat with remaining dry-ingredient mixture and milk.
  3. Arrange pineapple rings atop caramel in cake pan. Fill in spaces between rings with pineapple chunks. Carefully pour batter over pineapple and smooth, using a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake; invert onto a large serving plate.


Tips & Techniques
Tip: Reduce the batter's butter to 1/3 cup and the granulated sugar to 3/4 cup, then add 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce. You'll save 4 grams of fat and 54 calories per serving.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Is It Time to Scrap the Kid's Menu?

With 40% of parents eating out with their children at least once a fortnight - the kid's menu is no longer an occasional treat for many. In fact - I'd question whether it's a treat at all.

With the help of a team of parents Soil Association and Organix have investigated 21 of our biggest high street chains on their kid's meals as part of the Out to Lunch campaign for better food and service for children when they eat out - very few lived up to our expectations, check out the league table to see why.

A small army of parents visited the UK's most popular chains including Wetherspoon, Jamie's Italian and McDonald's. Right from the start, parents told us they wanted more choice and fresh food on the menu for their children, and to be given a family friendly welcome.

And what do our high street icons serve up?

The usual suspects - 12 out of 21 chains have meaty meals dominated by the usual suspects like nuggets sausages and fish fingers.

Mystery meat - Only one restaurant (Jamie's Italian) could reliably tell parents where their meat came from. Saying it "comes off a van" didn't go down with our parent restaurant critic.

And warmed up ready meals? - Only 11 restaurants were willing to tell us whether their food was freshly cooked and where it comes from. Of these 11, only four were making and cooking the majority of their food in the kitchen.
Yum.
The real experts (parents and children) and health experts alike agree it's time for change. 66% of parents say food served to their children isn't good enough.

The missing ingredient? Choice. Why should parents be treated to the best a restaurant has to offer and kids get a restricted menu? They're sometimes fussy, if anything they need more options to choose from.

As a step in the right direction, we're calling for all restaurants, pubs and cafes to give the option of children's portions of adult meals as standard, offered on the menu, not just for those who feel able to ask. I remember my parents saying to me "if you want to be treated like an adult then act like one." Well we want children to be treated the same, if not better, than adults. It's time for kid's meals to grow up.
Thanx Amy   NEE

Follow Amy Leech on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Amy_Leech_

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
A few years ago , my wife  and I retired  and moved to a new home . We are friendly , helpful  and generous, especially with good food  and hospitality . But our neighbors have never reciprocated with so much as a cookie and we have  never been invited  to their homes .
We all get along well enough but I have asked my wife not to make extra dishes for them  any longer . I'm disappointed  with the manners of the younger folks  who don't seem to understand reciprocity .
Southern Golden Oldie
Dear Southern ,
Some people are reluctant  to to entertain in their homes but you certainly do not have to keep putting forth the effort  if there is no reciprocity of any kind . There's no point  in being resentful . You can have  a perfectly cordial relationship with these neighbors  without baking pies and inviting them for cookies .
Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My roommate  and I wanted to get a dog  together because our apartment  was lonely .We ended up getting a cute little sheepdog , but I am allergic to him . He is so cute  and I do not want to get rid of him but my alleergies are killing me . I feel it is not fair to my roommate  to not have the dog  just because of me . I have started an over-the-counter  allergy regimen , which helps a little  , but I don't know how long  I can go always waking up stuffy .
Allergic
Dear Allergic ,
Too bad  you did not realize  you were allergic  from the start . Since you  agreed to get the dog, it is best for you to do all you can to figure  out if you can live  with it . Start by going to the doctor . There may be  something more  potent than over-the-counter  allergy medication .
You and your roommate  should also  be vigilant  about vacuuming  and dusting and remember to vacuum the furniture. Sheepdogs  have long hair  that sheds . Do your best to limit  the amount  of dander  that lingers  in the air .To achieve that you have to clean constantly . An air cleaner will help too. You should keep your bedroom  off-limits  to the dog . Close the door and putting an air cleaner in your room also would be beneficial. You can also limit  how much you touch  the dog . You can be kind  and loving without a lot of petting, even though it may seem hard to do .
Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My brother  is dating my ex-girlfriend and while I told him  it was OK  and that it didn't bother me, it does . I don't have feeling for her or anything but I feel odd  knowing that  my little brother  is dating her . They look happy  together  and I do not want  to say anything  to my brother  that will upset  him or make  him break up with her just because of me .
Misgivings
Dear Misgivings ,
It is only natural  for it to be tough for someone you love  to date someone  you once dated, especially if you  and the former  girlfriend  were close. On the one hand , it was big of you  to give your brother  permission to date her . Even more , it was respectful  of your brother  to ask you . Still, that doesn't change the reality that you are dealing with today .
Seeing their relationship  play out in real life must be difficult, at least at first . I do not think you should say anything  to your brother . Instead , live your life . If you are dating someone, focus your energy on that relationship  rather than your brother's. Stay in the moment  and resist  obsessing over what  your brother and she are doing .
Be kind and cordial  to her  when she is around . Decide  that you will be able to accept  them as a couple  . Over time, you should be able to make that happen .
Maxy